[free-sklyarov] US residents: Tell Congress!
andrea at gravitt.org
Thu Jul 26 06:42:26 PDT 2001
The page listed below is a short tutorial on how to influence the US
political process by writing to Congress. Corporations and other groups with
big money can go there in person and tell legislators why they should
support their position. Without letters from constituents, this is often all
they hear at all.
Many people here have discussed why the DMCA is a bad law, and how it
restricts free speech, fair use, and legitimate research. Use these
arguments and tell Congress why they should agree with you.
It is not very exciting, but access to Congress is what gets things done
with legislation. All that stuff from your High School Civics class sure was
dull, but it is how the system works in the US. If you want to influence it,
you have to know what it is.
There is only one way to get laws changed in the US, and that is to apply
political pressure. It's boring, and it often seems to be not worth the
effort to take the time to write to a bunch of TV talking heads. But it's
the only tool we have, and it does work if properly applied.
The big corporations are doing it, you should too. You could arrange a
meeting with your Representative or Senator or their staff members, and this
would be really great, but it is usually difficult.
Write a letter! Print it out, stick it in an envelope and put a stamp on it.
Be polite but firm about your interest in seeing the law changed. If you are
writing to your own Representative or Senator, say so. If you can find out
what their position is, say why you do or do not agree with it. You can also
write to the committee members who would be working on legislation, even if
they are not from your state or district.
This page is from USACM, the US Public Policy group within ACM. Members of
professional societies like ACM can write to their organizations and urge
them to make a statement. (Maybe I will make this my new tag line. Write
your associations, that's what you are paying memberships for!)
Communicating with Congress
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